NEW YORK CITY - When you think of the teaming up of George Clooney and Matt Damon, you may expect to see your typical buddy movie, but "Suburbicon" is not that. The satire touches on murder, fraud, and racism. The question is does it work?
The short answer is: "No!"
Can't fault the cast for this one, and the guy who made it has directed some wonderful movies, but George Clooney's idea to adapt a script by The Coen Brothers is like asking Kanye West to finish a rap by Jay Z.
Clooney is as fine a director as any working today, so it gives me no pleasure to tell you his new movie is a misfire that takes an old script with a point of view of the unique artists know as The Coen Brothers and grafts that onto a harsh story about racism in the 1950's when African Americans were prevented from buying homes in certain neighborhoods.
Matt Damon plays 'Gardner Lodge' a mid-level executive and resident of the planned community in the fictional "Suburbicon."
Julianne Moore has a dual role as his wife and sister-in-law.
We soon realize all is not as serene as it seems when Suburbicon's first, African American family moves in next door to the Lodges.
The neighbors are outraged, and start harassing the new arrivals, which serves to distract everyone from the crime playing out at the Lodge home where intruders murder Mrs. Lodge.
Damon almost makes seeing this movie worthwhile because of the way he defies expectations to personify the darkness at the heart of The American Dream. The star is truly scary at times. All the more so because we are so used to seeing him playing the good guy, and he meets his match in an extraordinary young actor, Noah Jupe, who plays his son.
I just wish these two could play opposite each other in a better movie.
"Suburbicon" is a crime drama that's also a dark comedy (and I did laugh quite often), but what kills it is the none-to subtle social commentary.
It's two movies in one that ends up less than half as satisfying as the film could have been.